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5 post-surgery side effects that are normal

It is likely that you have been dreaming of your cosmetic surgery procedure for years whether a breast enlargement or rhinoplasty, all you are thinking about is the excitement of your final result.

August 7th, 2018 |Ask an Expert

You've most likely come across the side effects associated with surgery during your research and we're here to help you understand why you get them and how long they last. Every patient is different and not every one will experience the below side effects, but knowing that they are normal and temporary will give you that extra bit of reassurance.


Feeling nauseous following general anaesthetic is common in many patients. Our hospital staff may administer anti-sickness medication to relieve any episodes of sickness or nausea following your surgery. You will always be given a small amount of food to eat within the first 24 hours after your surgery to prevent nausea or vomiting. This is typically something easy on the stomach like dry toast but your nurse will best advise. The antibiotics/pain relief medication can also cause some patients to feel nauseous but this will either subside or nurse can advise an alternative.


Many patients suffer from bloating to the abdomen following surgery. This is mainly due to the medication or following a general anaesthetic. It is completely common and nothing to worry about. To help with your bloating, we advise you to stay mobile and it will subside within 1-2 weeks.


Constipation can also explain the reason why you may be bloated but being constipated can also cause lower abdomen discomfort. Constipation can be cause by the medication and pain relief you have been supplied with. You can try over-the-counter laxatives but we would advise that you always speak with your clinic nurse first. Natural laxatives, which may help can be coconut water and high fibre fruit (berries, figs, apples, prunes, pears) and green veg.

Spots / Rashes

Spots can appear on the chest and breasts following breast surgery (breast augmentation / mastopexy / breast reduction / removal and re-augmentation) as well as on the face following a Rhinoplasty. This is nothing to worry about and they will disappear in time but it is often because you are not allowed to wash those areas due to the risk of infection. Miliaria, which is also called “prickly heat,” can occur after having an operation. Prickly heat also occurs in some people when they sweat a lot - it can be very itchy. This can occur in patients who have strapping and it is due to a blockage of the sweat ducts which causes sweat to seep into the skin cells. There is no treatment so we advise you to keep cool as much as possible. If you are concerned regarding any form of skin abnormality or if it persists, contact your clinic nurse for advice.

Post-Op Blues

Although not a medical term, the "Post-Op Blues" is the colloquial terminology referring to the mental state in the early stages of healing following surgery. Limited social and physical activity can often cause patients to feel down. Not every patient feels this but if you do get it, remember this is a completely natural phase and it will pass. Stick on a box set and have a gabber with your bestie and you'll be back in tip top shape in no time! Soon you will be fully recovered and have incredible body confidence so patience is key!

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